Caption: Takia Junior Boys Winning Teams.
By KATERINA SYNGELLAKIS
The first Regatta of the 2014 Sprint season was held at the National Canoe Centre on Saturday 19th July and second is due to take place on Saturday 2nd August at the same location.
Two weeks ago the conditions were almost perfect for outrigger canoe racing with no wind and clear skies resulting in some of the fastest times recently seen in Fiji. The paddlers are hoping that the winds will drop so it will be the same today. The sprint regattas are hosted by the Fiji Outrigger and the first regatta on 19th July attracted a pool of over 120 paddler entries.
In the open mens V1 (single-person-canoe) Gary Volau from Taf’aga Outrigger Canoe Club won the final with a time of 2 min 17 seconds. He was followed by Fred Leota of Walu Va’a Racing Club and Johji Wong of Taf’aga. In the V1 open Womens race, Taf’aga again took the top spot with Theresa Avon winning in 2 min 43 seconds, closely followed by team mate Krystelle Whippy and with Pauline Benson of Kai Wai Canoe Club in third place. In the Juniors V1 competition, there were wins for Liam Reiher (Takia Canoe Club) in the Under 10s 250m, Lauryn Inia (Taf’aga) in the Under 14 girls, Gabbie (Takia) in the Under 14 boys, Keanu Reiher (Takia) in the Under 16 boys, Eroni (Kai Wai) in the Under 19 boys and Sylvia Hesaie (Taf’aga) in the Under 19 girls.
In the V6 (six-person canoe) competition, Taf’aga dominated winning the 500m and 1500m for both the open men and open women, while new club Walu Va’a also did well coming third in the 1500m and second in the 500m. Kai Wai men and women also finished in the top three in both the 500m and 1500m and the Takia Open Women rounded out the podium placings snatching second place in the 1500m.
Takia Canoe Club had a strong showing in the Juniors V6 competition with wins in the 500m and 1000m for the Under 14 boys, Under 16 boys and girls and the Under 19 boys, while the Taf’aga girls took first place in the Under 19 girls and Pacific Harbour Canoe Club also got to the podium with a win in the U16 boys 500m.
The winners from two weeks ago will be looking to repeat their wins and improve their times. The Fiji Outrigger Sprint season will continue after today with the final two regattas scheduled for the 16th and 30th of August respectively
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